Monday, 20 December 2010

Introducing (ki:ts)

At this time of year it is difficult to resist the temptation to take a step back and assess the moments that have materialised over the last twelve months. With this in mind, a year in menswear summary will certainly be posted before we wave goodbye to 2010 but there are still a few moments to experience, labels to discover and collections to covet before. However, I can hint that our review will include my thoughts on a revived retail scene in London and indeed beyond. I have visited a myriad of newly opened stores in recent months and my faith in the future of menswear retail has been restored. During two of these visits a certain accessories brand has caught my eye. Up till now I have merely hinted at my admiration for (ki:ts). No longer. Trunk Clothiers first brought the label to my attention and and then 3939 duly reminded me of the fine leather accessory range. This weekend I met up with the man behind the label, Takaharu Osako to be talked through the current offering.

A look inside Trunk...
Woven belt by Ki:ts, boots by Common Projects, bag by BAG'n'NOUN and scarves by Drakes.

After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2003, Osako learnt his trade at Alexander McQueen before taking a design position at Jas MB. Last year, driven my his passion for handmade craft, he set up his own clothing and accessories brand. Taking its name from the dictionary pronunciation of the great English Romantic poet John Keats and Osako's desire to kit out the modern gentleman, (ki:ts) was formed. The label is an all too tempting cocktail of old, authentic elements mixed with modern technology and the pursuits of modern life. The accessory range takes its inspiration from the materials and craft which help create each accessory. These beautiful leather accessories are hand finished one-by-one in order not to ruin the natural feeling of the leather. Each season Osako makes up to one hundred and fifty belts and bracelets. The variety of fine Italian leathers are teamed up with sundries and buckles inspired from British horse riding and falconry detailing...

The Ki:ts range in 3939

Retrowood buckle bracelet.

Double Small Buckle Leather belt.

A close up of beautiful leather.

Black leather belt.

Surprisingly, the label is currently only Osako's fruitful hobby. He still works as an assistant designer at Jas MB by day and then dedicates his spare time to create each carefully crafted (ki:ts) product. The range itself, in addition to the stockists who buy in to the label slowly grows each season and this is how he wants it to remain. It was a pleasure to see his passion first hand, it was contagious and I could not walk away empty handed. During our discussion, the designer noticed that I was particularly taken by the retrowood versions. Up till then I had never seen such a leather in person. Amazingly, at the end of the range run through he gifted me with a bracelet version...

The wood effect bracelet in front of my Christmas tree.

Just look at the detailing...

I could not resist buying a belt for myself and opted for the stunning double buckle belt. I can't remember seeing anything quite like this before and I certainly do not own anything similar so it is a welcome addition to my accessory options.

The double buckle belt.

A closer look at the double buckle.

Osaka sources vintage fixtures for many of his belts.

I find it nigh on impossible to resist the charms of a label such as (ki:ts) and why should I? Takaharu Osako dedicates his evenings and free time to create each accessory by hand. Each accessory is carefully cut, shaped and polished and driven by his passion for fine leather craftsmanship. I'm looking forward to watching this label continue to slowly and organically grow over the coming seasons and beyond.


imobiliarias alegrete said...

I loved

John said...

Nice post. Great collection of leather goods.


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